Lung auscultation and sick calf management (Proceedings)
For the students, if there is one piece of advice to give you that the AVC has taught me. Surround yourself with people much more intelligent than you are. You'll see people like Drs. Lynn Locatelli, Wade Taylor, Doug Ford, and Paul Ritter who spend time trying to bring some form of organization to some of my scatterbrained thoughts. These are examples of people who challenge me every day. Surround yourself with these kinds of people.
This topic is very complex. Sick cattle management has paradigms within feedlot medicine. The vast majority of pulls on our database would be grouped into a respiratory disease complex. All these animals that come out of the pen are outliers on both ends of the biological curve. Very few animals come out of our pens that are in the middle of the biological curve. We need to understand why some cattle become ill and others flourish. Colostral transfer issues, trace mineral deficiencies, immunosuppression are examples of issues that explain lack of disease resistance. We have other animals on the other end of the biological curve that come to the hospital because they've absolutely been selected to gain 6 lbs. per day and have less resistance to disease. We need to understand the animals that arrive in our hospital situations and be willing to address diagnostic issues.
Pen riders make the difference
Our plan is to help you understand that sick cattle management begins when the truc backs up to the chute with new arrivals. Sick cattle management begins in the home pen. Recognizing pulls early in disease and ability to remove those cattle from the pen in a voluntary fashion becomes very important. The front line of sick cattle management is the people who are out there riding pens. It's important we stretch their job description far beyond what it was 10 years ago. Pen rider focus at this point is to encourage modulation of prey-animal instincts. In order to do that these people have to be aware of prey animal instincts and understand new cattle acclimation. The goal when unloading cattle is to convince cattle to be confident of their new home and willing to visit the bunk.
It's important that we're able to pull a febrile or depressed animal out of a pen prior to the development of serious lung pathology. An example of that would be someone who can interact with the abnormal animal, ask him to volunteer to leave the pen very efficiently without disturbing pen mates, so the caregiver can return to the pen and request these animals to communicate their state of health.